Kalinga lawmaker chides PRO-COR chief

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang criticized Police Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, for his alleged refusal to listen to deploy the required peacekeeping force in the disputed area of the Butbut Tribe from Tinglayan town and the Betwagan Tribe from Sadanga, Mountain Province while awaiting for the results of the inter-agency interventions to put an end to the long standing conflict between the two tribes.

Mangaoang, who chairs the House Committee on National Cultural Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, stated that it is unfair for Pagkalinawan to accuse him of favoring the Butbut Tribe in the aforesaid conflict as he does not what he is saying because he wants the said conflict to be peacefully settled as he was raised by the culture of both Kalinga and Mountain Province as his mother is from Sagada, Mountain Province and that he grew up in Kalinga.

He disclosed that the decision of the police official to remove the military assigned in the disputed area has caused the situation between the two feuding tribes to heat up with certain reported skirmishes in some areas within the conflict area, thus, the need to consider the return of the military to guard the disputed area to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that will cause the situation to go out of control.

The Kalinga lawmaker claimed that the deployment of police personnel supposedly to look into the peace and order situation within the areas dominated by both tribes seem to be unfair because there are police personnel in the area of the Butbut Tribe but the Betwagan Tribe allegedly refused to accept the presence of the police in their area that makes the situation in the area complicated and prone to the occurrence of violence.

Mangaoang advised barangay officials of Butbut Tribe to do their best to ensure that their constituents will be protected from any violent incident that might transpire because of the ongoing conflict so as not to worsen the situation while waiting for the acceptable recommendation of the inter-agency task force on how to put an end to the conflict.

According to him, there is nothing wrong for the intervention of the inter-agency task force to formulate the appropriate solutions that will put an end to the conflict because local officials also want that the same will be settled for the realization of law and order in the area to help in improving economic activities and sources of livelihood of the people that have resided in their domain for decades.

Mangaoang pointed out that no one has the monopoly of knowledge in settling disputes that is why responsible police officials should also listen to the proposals from the people on the ground and not for them to insist on what they want because they need to understand the culture of the people first before even initiating moves geared towards settling the conflict.

The congressman revealed that he will be filing a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for an inquiry on the ongoing efforts of an inter-agency task force to settle the long-standing conflict between the Butbut and Betwagan Tribes to achieve lasting peace in the aforesaid disputed area.

He said that it will be the House Committees on National Cultural Minorities and Indigenous Peoples and peace and order that will handle the conduct of the proposed inquiry. By HENT

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